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On My Mind: Hayley Podschun of ‘Wicked’

Hayley Podschun, who stars as Glinda in the national tour of Wicked at Municipal Auditorium Music Hall, is from the area.

“I can’t even believe I get to come home. I’m so excited. This will be the longest I’ve been home in eight years.”

Hayley Podschun

Actress, dancer, vocalist

Hayley Podschun first left Kansas City to make her Broadway debut in “The Sound of Music” when she was 12 years old. Now she travels across the country by bubble as Glinda (the Good Witch) in the national tour of “Wicked.” The Overland Park native has landed back home for “Wicked’s” multi-week run at the Music Hall.

Growing up, Podschun trained and performed in the area. “My first professional show I ever did, I was Baby June in ‘Gypsy’ at New Theatre. And then I got the lead in ‘Pippi Longstocking’ at the Coterie, which was like a dream come true of mine. That kind of shot me off for really good training,” Podschun says.

After graduating from Blue Valley High School, Podschun spent a year attending college in Boston before she was cast in the national tour of “Hairspray.” “I did the ‘Hairspray’ film immediately after that, and then immediately after that I did the ‘Hairspray’ Broadway company, so it was three years of my life basically,” Podschun says.

Podschun appeared in “Chaplin” and “Anything Goes” on Broadway before joining the touring cast of “Wicked” until at least March of 2014, and — though she enjoys her time with the show — she hopes to perform on Broadway again in the future. “I’d love to go back to New York. I just bought an apartment actually, way uptown. So that’s definitely next for me, just trying to put together my new home,” Podschun says.


When: Through Oct. 27

Where: Music Hall

Info: Tickets available online at theaterleague.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. Show times and ticket prices vary. Additional information at wickedthemusical.com.


On the road: “You travel with the same 75 people, so not only do you work with them, you live with them. You hang out with them, which is great. But it’s the same people. You’re not really able to do things during the day like you would in New York. It’s just the show, so you’re really focused on work the whole time.”

Packing problems: “Being on tour you have to deal with a lot of different climates. You have to deal with living in and out of suitcases, so you can only pack certain favorite clothes and that’s difficult, because I have a lot of clothes.”

Foodie fun: “Me and Jenny DiNoia, who plays my Elphaba, and David Perlow, who plays my Fiyero, we’re big foodies. So we try and at least find one fancy, good restaurant in every city that we go to, if we’re not too tired on our day off. It’s a little difficult to go out, especially in towns where food is a big thing, because we can’t really eat that heavily before the show. But we do like to go out and explore what is fancy about the local places.”

City girl: “I do get homesick once in awhile; I really miss my friends and my city. My city is like my boyfriend. I kinda miss New York a lot. I watch a lot of New York movies on and off just so I can get the feeling of New York City.”

Homecoming: “I’ll definitely just want to hang out at home. We’re hosting a cast party at my house, with the whole cast and crew and musicians that tour with us. I’m going to visit my dance studio, my high school, all my teachers that I ever had.”

KC cuisine : Podschun plans to visit some hometown favorites and perhaps try something new. “Of course, Stroud’s. And definitely Cactus Grill. And North — it’s so good. Their zucca chips are amazing! But there’s so many new places in Kansas City I’ll want to try.”

Fan girl: “My dad and I are going to go to a KU game, which is what we did growing up. I’m really crossing my fingers that I get to sing at a Chiefs game.”


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